Choice for Life Denied

Workers at an Orlando abortion clinic are being accused of refusing to help a mother screaming for help after her baby was born alive. The baby died shortly thereafter. A legal group in Florida says, as a result, the clinic may be slapped with a lawsuit. Other pro-life groups are calling for enforcement of a federal statute that requires doctors to render medical help to infants who survive an abortion.

Earlier this month, Angele — a single mother in her thirties — entered the EPOC clinic in Orlando, seeking an abortion. On April 1, she was given drugs to start the process, and told to return the following day. The next day, Angele took more medicine, went to the clinic, and was directed to a room where she eventually gave birth to a baby boy who, she claims, started moving. However, she claims clinic workers refused to help her child or call 9-1-1. The baby, who Angele named Rowan, died shortly after paramedics arrived at the clinic.

Matthew Staver is president and general counsel of Liberty Counsel, which has filed two complaints against the clinic, citing the complete absence of a doctor during the abortion procedure and complete lack of post-operative care. The abortionists named in the complaints are Dr. Harry Perper, whom LC claims administered the procedure on the first day but was not present on the second day, and Dr. James Pendergraft, owner and supervisor of the clinic.

“We are hopeful that these complaints will lead to immediate change in the form of discipline against the doctors, and revocation of the abortion license for the clinic,” Staver says in a press release. “But we are also hopeful that these complaints will serve as the catalyst for long-term change.”

The attorney explains that, in his opinion, abortion clinics are the least-regulated medical facilities in the Sunshine State. “It is a travesty that tattoo parlors are more heavily regulated than abortion clinics,” he points out. “That needs to change.”

Staver's group has filed the complaints on behalf of Angele. “In Angele's darkest circumstances of her life, she assumed that abortion was the answer to her problems,” he says. “But when she saw her son born — especially born alive — the emotions and the darkness of the past were erased in a moment.”

Angele, who Staver says was encouraged to get an abortion by a Christian counselor, now wants to warn others about supposed “safe and painless” abortion procedures.

“She now understands that she's done a horrible thing to abort her child,” Staver says. “She also understands that no one intervened to help her child. And this is the story, I think, Angele wants people to understand: that abortion is never the choice, never the option. It is always the choice to choose life rather than death.”

Two pro-life groups are showing how this tragic incident demonstrates that abortion clinics are apparently not as committed to “choice” as they claim to be. Operation Rescue and the Christian Defense Coalition are calling for a full investigation into the actions of the clinic's personnel.

Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition calls it “barbarous” to realize that Rowan could have been saved if employees at the clinic had responded in a professional and timely manner. Even though Angele wanted to save her child, he says, the “culture of death” at the clinic prevailed. “We are calling for a full investigation in this horrific death and pray that action is taken that would prevent it from ever happening again,” Mahoney states.

Operation Rescue's Troy Newman concurs, calling for the prosecution of “all those involved in this horrible crime.” He says he is hopeful officials conducting the investigation use all possible legal avenues that are available to them, including the Born Alive Infant Protection Act passed by Congress three years ago. Just last week, the Bush administration said it would start enforcing that statute, which requires doctors to attempt to keep alive a baby who survives an abortion procedure.

(This article courtesy of Agape Press).

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